For the last seven weeks, I’ve been in charge of sponsoring what can best be described as “pep rallies” at our school. I’m pretty terrible at this since I can only tolerate small doses of pep. An individual can be fairly peppy. That’s fine. But if we’re dealing with a crowd, I’m only comfortable with a modicum of pep. They can be mildly boisterous or there can be brief moments of raucous joy. More than that, and I tend to get weirded out.
Being in charge of things also meant that I sometimes said things like, “I don’t feel great, but I have to go to work tomorrow because I’m in charging of bringing batteries and crackers.”
Which prompted my boyfriend to laugh, “Sometimes your job sounds crazy.”
There were five students helping me plan and in seven weeks, we had to come up with three spirit competitions. This is the hardest part because we have about ten minutes each week to come up with a way to provoke and then quantify “school spirit.” Mostly, we just did it by seeing which class could yell the loudest. But this week, I finally gave in to one students repeated request. “I just want to see someone eat something!” he said every time spirit competitions came up.
I always protested because an eating contest is won or lost regardless of pep and the point is to measure excitement and enthusiasm. But after putting him off for weeks without coming up with something better, maybe we should just make someone eat something.
It worked like this: one representative from each class came up on stage, was given six saltines, and had to be able to eat the crackers and then run up, grab the microphone and say the full name of the school. The first attempt resulted in a visible spray of cracker crumbs, and I instantly realized this was a genius idea. The second attempt failed in a similar fashion before a student finally completed the task, winning his class the spirit award, a giant spirit stick, and pizza. Meanwhile, I simply ate a little crow as I congratulated the student on his clever idea and his dogged persistence. I can’t believe that I was so oblivious to the joy of watching people eat stuff.